Royals Manager Clarifies Comments About Sparse Crowds At Kaufmann Stadium
Royals manager Ned Yost yesterday said that he "wasn't criticizing anyone" when he said he expected a bigger crowd at Tuesday night's game at Kauffman Stadium, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of FOX SPORTS K.C. Yost: "I don't feel like I (insulted anyone). And I don't feel like I criticized the fans." He added, "I've been to the World Series six times. I do this job so (the players) can experience it and all that goes with it. ... I want the fans to experience it. It's a phenomenal experience, and the fans here haven't felt that in (29) years." Yost continued, "As a manager, I want every advantage I can have. And I don't care what anyone says, when this fan base, this stadium, is full -- the excitement and buzz they bring, is an advantage" (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/27). In K.C., Andy McCullough notes Royals GM Dayton Moore yesterday "expressed both support for his manager and appreciation for his fanbase." Moore: "I know Ned’s heart, and I know ours. We love our fans. We’re very appreciative for their great support" (KANSASCITY.com, 8/27).
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE? In K.C., Vahe Gregorian writes Yost "did himself no favors by broaching the topic as he did," but it also is hard to understand "what was so inherently offensive about objecting to the meager turnout." Reasonable minds "can disagree on this, but Yost might well have been making more of a plea than he was chastising." There "are many reasons fans don’t show," and any reason any fan "doesn’t want to go is valid, whether it’s about money or weather or the ease and luxury of the home-viewing experience." Still, relatively speaking, the Royals "are in the midst of a full-on phenomenon" (K.C. STAR, 8/28). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said if the Royals "get to the playoffs this year, I guarantee you those seats will be filled next year" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/27). But MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal said it is "not anyone's position to tell fans how to spend their money." Rosenthal: "It's inappropriate for a manager to come out and say, 'Hey, we need you here'" ("MLB Now," MLB Network, 8/27).
PEOPLE ARE WATCHING: In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff notes overall crowds at Kauffman Stadium this year are bigger, "even if they are slightly smaller across baseball." The Royals "are averaging 23,353 fans per game through 64 home dates after a crowd of 17,688 watched them beat the Twins 6-1 on Wednesday." That is the "best average since the team drew 24,570 per game" in the strike-shortened '94 season. That is an "increase of 1,512 over the average from last season, when the Royals posted their first winning record in a decade and chased a playoff spot until the final week." Royals Senior VP/Business Operations Kevin Uhlich expects that their season attendance will "be around 1.9 million." The last year the Royals "drew that many was 1993, George Brett’s final season." Meanwhile, the Royals also "continue to move the needle" on TV, as the team "owns a 6.2 season rating" on FS K.C., "slightly below last year’s 6.4 rating" (K.C. STAR, 8/28).